Consumers showed less reluctance to buy big-ticket items such as cars, appliances and office equipment last month, the Commerce Department reported today.
Orders for manufactured durable goods increased 0.3% to $167.9 billion in December, which followed two consecutive months of declines.
Excluding transportation, new orders rose 0.9% and excluding defense, new orders were up by 0.3%.
Shipments of manufactured durable goods increased for the fourth consecutive month. They rose 2.9% to $181.9 billion.
Inventories of manufactured durable goods-which have been down for 12 consecutive months-fell $0.2% to $302.7 billion.